Isabel Díaz Ayuso Madrid region President

Conservative Ayuso secures major victory in Madrid’s election

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Isabel Díaz Ayuso, of Spain’s conservative Popular Party (PP), won Madrid regional election by a landslide on Tuesday (May 4), after she refused to shut down the capital’s bars, restaurants and other businesses.

The conservative president of the Madrid region won 44.7% of the vote, taking 65 seats in Madrid’s 136-seat assembly. Turnout for the election was high at 75.9% – compared to 64.27% in 2019.

“Madrid is freedom and they don’t understand our way of living, that’s why Sánchez and his colleagues do not enter in Madrid,”Ayuso, 42, a fierce critic of the prime minister Pedro Sánchez’s Covid lockdown strategy, said in a speech after the result on Tuesday.

“Because it can’t be directed, can’t be controlled and things can’t be imposed here. Because freedom means a person can start again a thousand times, give opportunities for young people and security for the elderly. That’s freedom, and they wanted to take it away from us.”

PP chief Pablo Casado commended Ayuso’s victory, calling her “the leader Madrid deserves.” The PP has controlled the region for the past 26 years and the convincing win on Tuesday will likely give impetus to the party at a national level again.

Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s League party congratulated Ayuso. “Congratulations and good job to President Isabel Díaz Ayuso, winner of the Madrid elections, a woman of common sense and courage who has combined protection of health, right to work and freedom,” he tweeted.

The election campaign has been bitter – overshadowed by incidents of threatening letters containing bullets that have been sent in to politicians, including Ms Ayuso and the leader of the leftist Podemos, Pablo Iglesias.

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, dubbed a “Trumpista” by her opponents was born on 17 October 1978 in Madrid. She has a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and a Master’s degree in Political Communication and Protocol.  She first joined the Madrid Assembly in 2011 before becoming its president in 2019.

The Madrid region is Spain’s main economic engine and the country’s busiest transportation hub. It’s home to 14 percent of Spain’s 47 million people.

With reporting by El Pais